Gearing up for my first Ultra – which I am leaning towards something of the Fat Ass variety and VT50 as a qualifier for VT100 – I am realizing there are a number of things I need to dial in. I went for a longish run on Sunday, and drank a cup of water or so before I started. Two hours later I still hadn’t eaten or drank anything. Granted it was raining so while I am not an amphibian, I think it mitigated some of the thirst. I am not sure how long I could go like this, but considering I had not eaten in the eight hours preceding the run, I am guessing it is a bit. Next time I do a long run over 20 I will have to stash some water and see how it goes. I have had some problems with water in the past – CHaD 2012, Shires 2013.

I also need to figure out shoes – or lack there of. I like my Skoras, but have heard that at the end of an ultra, that heel cushioning and rise can be nice.

Things to dial-in on:

  • shoes
  • food
  • water
  • pace
  • clothes

Never Enough

Mileage is a funny thing. Some people can run miles upon miles, stay healthy, and run some more. Some folks break running more than 20 miles a week. Thankfully, I am not really one of those injury prone folks, but my training typically only ranges around 40-50 miles a week. I am usually there for a month or two gearing up for a race, then take a week or two off, and build back up starting in the mid 30s. Sometimes I will take even longer during winter and when I come back to it, I am quick to notice the amount of time I spend running.

I am not talking about splits, but overall run time. I notice it for two reasons, mainly due to my wife’s questioning as to how long I will be gone for, and the eye rolls I get for responses as race day approaches. I also notice it towards the end of a season when I pull up the log and review it on a weekly basis. The thing is, when the season comes to it’s conclusion, I never feel that I actually topped out my capacity for mileage.

Ideally, my off season would just continue building upon last weeks efforts. Longer long runs, longer recovery runs, but the time in a day is simply not there. Part of it is the eye rolls, but most of it is the guilt I feel for taking so much time from my children. At least that is what I tell myself.

I ought to be over fifty miles this week, and still, it does not seem to be enough. Perhaps it is because I will have done 15-20 miles either with the stroller by myself or with my wife and the pace is just excruciatingly slow. I am hoping that somehow, training for this ultra will allow me to train more, but I doubt it. Even if I can build mileage, I do not think it will be enough. I will always want to go for a longer long run, but then maybe that is the feeling I hope this Ultra quenches. But with a monster base, where is the limit?

Thinking About Ultras

Ever since I started running after an eight year hiatus, I’ve thought about doing an Ultra. I always saw myself as a distance guy, and what better way to demonstrate this than to do an ultra marathon. I’m not talking about run/walk at a 12 minute pace, I’m talking actually running.

My longest run to date is a mere 31.6 that I did in 4:03:07 for a 7:42 pace. The last four or five killed the guy I was running with and probably slowed the pace a fair bit. Neither here nor there. It was also fairly flat and somewhat toasty as it was July in Georgia.

Since then I’ve done a few 20+ but it’s been hard to find the 4+ hours to get out for a run, not to mention that I’d be toast the rest of the day and when there’s two little kids running around and you’re expected to participate in the parenting. Hopefully before the year is out I can get a 25+ in.

What little reading I’ve done so far has suggested lots of training techniques and given me lots to think on. Being that the kids are still young and training to actually run an ultra well will take time, I’m putting it way out there – VT100 2015. Unfortunately, I can’t just sign up for the VT100, rather I have to volunteer some of my time to an ultra friendly cause – I’d like to get involved with the VT100 and VT50 as they’re local races anyway… – and I have to complete a 50 miler in under 12 hours. I’ll probably end up doing VT50 2014 and VT100 2015, but we’ll see. Two years is quite some time away, it’s also quite some time to build a killer base…

Here We Are…

So, here we are. Another blog around running and life. Not a running log, but thoughts, musings, ramblings, rants, and verbage – something to further fill the infinite realm of cyberspace. Some of it will make sense, some likely will not.